Life is short…eat dessert first…Christina’s fabulous apple cake…so moist…the secret ingredient is cream cheese!
This past weekend my bubbly friend and I enjoyed Christina Nifong’s (local writer and gardener extraordinaire in Roanoke, Virginia) Local For Lunch, Featuring Fall cooking class at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op.
It’s easy to find out more about the Co-Op’s cooking and health classes, just sign-up for their newsletter using this link:
Here’s the link to Christina Nifong’s Fabulous Fall Recipes:
Christina prepared her delicious recipes with ingredients from the Co-Op and her own garden. The appetizer she served was a yummy Blue Cheese Herb Spread. (Goat cheese or feta cheese can be substituted for the blue cheese.)
We enjoyed a roasted beet salad that was as colorful, crunchy and delicious! It lived up to it’s name Beautiful Beet Salad. Most beet salads have the goat cheese sprinkled on top of the beets but this salad mixes the cheese with the other ingredients resulting in a creamy dressing.
Christina served us Thai Butternut Squash Soup for our second course. One of the ingredients in the soup was “Hen of the Woods Mushroom”, known as a Maitake mushroom in Japan which translates to “Dancing Mushroom”. These mushrooms grow at the base of trees (particularly fond of oak trees).
Chistina recommended using a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds out of the butternut squash. The fresh ginger, jalapeno, lime juice and Thai basil give this soup a pleasant spiciness.
We gobbled up these Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins (Gluten-free)!
I enjoy buying my dried herbs and spices at the Co-op because they sell them by the pound. I purchase just what I need. I no longer have to throw away herb and spice cans that have gone out of date. These items seem to be more fresh than the grocery store dried herbs and spices…especially the vanilla bean! Honey is also available by the pound.
I was so inspired by Christina’s class that I purchased some Delicata squash (pictured above) at the Co-op. This squash lives up to it’s name…delicate taste, easy to roast…here’s a lovely recipe to try:
I picked up a copy of Christopher Kimball’s MILK STREET magazine at the Roanoke Co Op. They have a nice selection of culinary magazines. MILK STREET may remind the reader of Cook’s Illustrated magazine which is more than a coincidence…Kimball founded Cook’s Illustrated magazine. The charter issue, Fall 2016 includes an article about champagne glasses, which of course caught my eye: The Trouble with Champagne Flutes.
They recommend not the classic coupe or traditional flute, but the sturdy wine glass:
The classic red or white wine glass – with its broad, stable foot and a bulbous-bottomed bowl – is just about perfect. The bowl allows the wine to be agitated and aerated with a motion of the wrist (swirling!)…the pros ditch them (flutes) when tasting and judging sparkling wines. They know flutes are for orchestras, not fine wine.
Sounds good to me except that I have dozens of champagne flutes that I can’t bear to toss out. I do look forward to tasting some finer champagnes in a chardonnay glass just for the taste experience.
One of our fellow guests shared this website: http://www.simplyquinoa.com/
I shared with the group that the liquid that is drained off canned garbanzo beans can be whipped like egg whites to use in recipes such as this began meringue:
Since we’re celebrating local and Fall today, I am happy to shard a very happy occurrence at Sweet Donkey Coffee a local coffee shop in Roanoke, Virginia. The Pumpkin Latte is back! They make their own fresh pumpkin puree for the lattes. Fabulousity!!!